Hurricane relief efforts continue

By Cecilia Fox -

TIPP CITY — In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the “Fill The Truck For Texans” project organized by Tipp Monroe Community Services (TMCS) and Thrivent Financial sent three trucks full of supplies to Texas. Now they are considering how to continue providing long term help.

Matt Buehrer of Thrivent Financial said that the first trucks were just the beginning when it comes to helping people whose lives have been impacted by the hurricane.

“We will be shifting to a longer program,” he said. People in Houston are still devastated by the hurricane, he said, and will need support for months to come.

Organizers are working with Upper Room Worship Center and Bruns General Contracting to set up drop-off locations, Buehrer said, and hope to be able to send more items to Texas over the next few months.

“It’s just a matter of organizing volunteer groups,” he said.

They are also keeping an eye on the developing situation with Hurricane Irma in Florida, Buehrer said.

“We’ll keep our eyes and ears open,” he said. “We may have to shorten our sign from ‘Fill the Truck for Texans’ to ‘Fill the Truck.’”

The first truck carried over 55,000 pounds of supplies for those in need and were distributed at the Community of Faith Church in downtown Houston.

It reached Texas on Monday after a delay in Lexington, Ky., when one of the tires on the trailer blew out. According to TMCS, when the owners of Big Rig One Stop Shop, Bobby and Jane Searcy, heard that they were carrying items for Texas, they donated the repairs.

TMCS and Thrivent Financial worked together to organize volunteers and obtain equipment, load three trailers, find volunteer drivers and trucks, and finalize the details needed to send three trucks to Texas. All of the items needed were obtained through the generosity of others.

According to Denise Gross, community relations coordinator for TMCS, people] came from as far as Toledo, St. Mary’s and Versailles to donate items.

The organization has also collected more than $20,000 in monetary donations, some of which has been used to purchase additional items needed to fill the trucks and to pay for the fuel needed to get the trucks to Texas and back.

Tipp Monroe Community Services is a local nonprofit organization responsible for identifying and filling the needs of Tipp City and Monroe Township residents. For more information, visit

Thrivent Financial is a faith-based financial planning service.

By Cecilia Fox